Photo: Robert Irwin Light And Space II


In 1968 and 1969, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art paired artist Robert Irwin with Ed Wortz, a scientist at a Southern California aerospace firm called Garrett Corporation, for their the Art and Technology program.   They conducted experiments in ergonomics for NASA missions. (1)  They claimed to have found that the best conditions for drinking Carlsberg Elephant Beer, was when listening to a 650 HZ audio tone.  Any slight variation of the tone’s frequency would make the beer almost undrinkable.  (2)

For the new LIGHTNING X HILUX Experience Coffee with Chris Owens, we will be conducting a series of sound/taste experiments inspired by the experiments conducted by artists Robert Irwin and James Turrell with psychologist Ed Wortz.  We will be installing a sonic tasting space to explore the influence of different frequencies and timbres on the flavor profile of our limited edition roast. 

 This is the second in the Experience Coffee series, conceptually designed as a collaboration with  roaster Chris Owens, intended to experiment with and craft artistic experiences of coffee - the making, the drinking - the sensual and conceptual.  Chris Owens is a wild spirit on the forefront of coffee exploration.  He is a co-founder of Handsome Coffee, and has worked as the head roaster at Ritual Coffee, an educator for Intelligentsia coffee, a customer relations rep at Counter Culture, and a lead barista at Gimme Coffee. 

This roast is a Caturra bean from a very special and limited crop from Arnaud Causse's farm in Las Tolas, Equador.  Arnaud has an extensive agronomic background, having worked in Gabon, Ethiopia, Rwanda, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Costa Rica, before selecting the very small and special region of Las Tolas, Ecuador for it’s altitude and break in the clouds, providing the perfect climate and amount of light for growing coffee.


Saturday May 21st, 10 AM - 2 PM

HIGHWAY SPACE,  62091 Valley View Circle, Joshua Tree, CA 92252


If you cannot make it during our tasting space hours, we will be posting the results of our experiments for our LIGHTNING X HILUX subscribers to experiment with at home.



1 (Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees, Lawrence Weschler on Robert Irwin / Govin interview with James Turrell, Interview Magazine / Considering Perception: Robert Irwin and James Turrell )

2 (Sinister Resonance, David Toop)